Blog Archives

You’ll Love These 9 Art Masterpieces in Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy, attracts millions of visitors each year and is well known for its art – art museums and galleries housing many of the world’s great art masterpieces. It has long been considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is just one of the many reasons that I love Italy. Since the 15th Century, Florence has been an economically prosperous city due to an Italian banking family known as the Medicis. Cosimo de’ Medici became a patron of art, science, philosophy, and architecture, which helped the city to become known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. The Historic Center of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with significant architecture, monuments, and cultural history combined with its art history.  Artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, Botticelli, and Ghiberti created masterpieces thanks to his patronage. […]

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Guadalajara Cathedral in the Central Historic District

As Mexico’s second largest city, there are many reasons to visit Guadalajara: it has high-quality museums, some of the best street food in Mexico and is the birthplace of mariachi, the quintessential Mexican musical genre. It is a wonderful combination of cosmopolitan city and historic center, blending the old with the new, the modern with the traditional, and the hip with the historical. It also has a massive jewel in its crown – the Guadalajara Cathedral, a minor basilica that is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guadalajara. Visiting the Guadalajara Cathedral is one of the top things to do in Guadalajara, whether you’re exploring the city on your own or joining an organized walking tour of Guadalajara. Located in the downtown Centro Historico (Avenue 16 de Septiembre, Hidalgo y Morelos), Guadalajara Cathedral is known for being one of […]

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How to Use the NYC CityPASS for Savings on New York Attractions

  So you’re finally making the trip to the Big Apple. You plan to see all the sights, take in a Broadway show, and check out the amazing dining scene. But all that is going to be heavy on the wallet. If you want to get more for your dollar, you should buy a New York CityPASS. Offering admission to up to six New York attractions, the NYC CityPASS is a smart way to save money when visiting New York attractions.  What’s Included There are two types of passes to choose from: the New York City CityPASS and New York C3 Pass. There are ten attractions in total to choose from on these New York sightseeing passes – nine on the CityPASS and ten on the C3. With the NYC CityPASS you get tickets for six different attractions; three of these […]

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20 Best Beaches in Fuerteventura Spain

With 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, and winter temperatures averaging in the low 70’s,  Fuerteventura beaches lure travelers to their shores. Offering beautiful stretches of white and black sand, terrific year-round surfing, sailing, diving, sport fishing, and all sorts of adventure both on land and water. Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands (but owned by Spain), located about 63 miles off the coast of Africa.  Flights to Fuerteventura Spain go into the airport at El Mattoral, from dozens of cities across Europe, making it an easy and affordable destination for a beach vacation. So Which Fuerteventura Beach is For You? There are over 150 beaches on the island ranging from fine, white sand to black volcanic rock formed from volcanic activity, dating back thousands of years. Generally speaking, the beaches on the north part of the island have […]

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Update Your Bucket List

Bucket lists seem to be the target of some derision these days, the assumption made that people who have bucket lists and make travel plans from their bucket lists are somehow rushing through travel in the quest of a checkoff. Far be it from me to tell anyone how to travel – different strokes for different folks, after all – and I proudly embrace my personal bucket list. If you want to create your own bucket list, you may want to follow my approach. I started writing down places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see and do, and experiences that caught my eye. I set a top limit of 100 things, because, let’s face it, I could go on forever. With the parameters in mind, I just started writing. It took a few weeks to come up […]

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2019 Travel Reading Challenge

Last year I started a year-long reading challenge that focused on travel and books perfect to read while you’re traveling. It was premised on a yearly total of 24 books, an average of two books per month, with an advanced challenge of another six books for a combined total of 30 books for 2018. You can see the books I chose for the 2018 travel reading challenge here. I set my Goodreads challenge at 50 books for the year. I knew the reading challenge list was much less than I’d typically read and I wanted to stretch myself a little. Since I usually read on my , it’s easy to sync up with Goodreads and track books, but I found that often forgot to add those that I read in print. I think I’ve got everything added in now and you can […]

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2018 Year in Review at Traveling with MJ

2018 has been a transitional year here at Traveling with MJ. There’s been lots of travel – several new domestic destinations, some exploration around Washington State, and a couple of cruises. It hasn’t all been about travel, though. Now that Tony’s retired and helping me out in the business, we’ve had a few business changes this year. This site got a facelift this spring as we launched a new design and navigational scheme. It took some time to get all the kinks out, but we’re almost there and I think its streamlined approach to information and stories serves readers better. We’ve also changed up our content focus, really zeroing in on what we’re best at – value luxury destinations, experiences, and products. We think of value luxury as luxury for real people, not celebrities with private islands and jets. Luxury […]

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Visit the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

.  A visit to the Alamo is a highlight of a trip to San Antonio. Before you go, however, these tips for visiting the Alamo will help you understand a little more about the destination and help you get the most out of your time there.  The San Antonio de Valero Mission was relocated three times, but after becoming the fortress known as The Alamo has had only one location, it’s current one. It can be seen today in that same location, a short distance from the San Antonio River Walk The mission turned fortress was the scene of several battles during the Texas Revolution, including the 1836 Battle of the Alamo for which it is named.  The Battle pitted Mexico, under the leadership of General Santa Anna, against the Texas Republic.  Despite a valiant stand, all of the Texas […]

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You’ll Never Want to Leave: Lakedale Resort, Friday Harbor

Growing up in Washington State, we took the San Juan Islands for granted. Sure, we studied the islands in Washington State History and went there on field trips, but we never thought of it as someplace people would voluntarily go. Especially not for a vacation. Boy, were we wrong! We headed off to Friday Harbor earlier this year for a stay at Lakedale Resort in Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island). The 82-acre resort has three spring water lakes and a variety of lodging options to fit every preference and budget, from its rustic luxury lodge to camping sites. We loved our stay at Lakedale Resort and never wanted to leave. We think you’ll feel the same way, too. This is part of a series of monthly themed features talking about places we’ve stayed and never wanted to leave. This post […]

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You’ll Never Want to Leave: Onboard the Viking Sky, Into the Midnight Sun Itinerary

We sailed off on the Viking Sky, leaving Bergen, Norway, for a 15-day Into the Midnight Sun itinerary that took us to the tip-top of Norway, then headed down to Scotland and England. It was Tony’s first trip above the Arctic Circle, and with the exception of Bergen, it was our first visit to all the locations on the itinerary. We enjoyed our time on the Viking Sky and never wanted to leave! We think you would love it, too. This is part of a series of monthly themed features talking about places we’ve stayed and never wanted to leave. This post may contain affiliate links, sponsored travel, sponsored content, or paid product placement. We’ve hand-picked these destinations and products because we like them and we think you will, too. Getting There We flew into Bergen the morning of our […]

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